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Rowan U. President Attempts To Smooth Rutgers-Camden Takeover Path

By David Madden

GLASSBORO, N.J. (CBS) — Leaders at Rowan University say the proposal to merge with Rutgers-Camden under the Rowan name will mean little to students now on campus or to those making decisions for the fall.

Dr. Ali Houshmand, Rowan’s interim president, went to great lengths today to stress that any merger would take years to complete.  And he’s been actively seeking discussions with Rutgers-Camden officials — discussions that began just last week.

As for student angst over what goes on any diploma, he says, “We have developed a plan that every single one of them deserve to get the degree for which they entered the institution.  So a student that entered Rutgers-Camden will receive a Rutgers-Camden degree.”

Houshmand says he has not been happy with the tone of the public discussion.

“A lot of people have been engaged in throwing a lot of mud at Rowan, insulting this institution, and it’s hurtful,” he said today.

He insists he needs to work with his counterparts at Rutgers-Camden to improve academic offerings, particularly on the postgraduate level.

And he knows no merger will work without everyone working together.

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  • Cooper Gorelick

    “A lot of people have been engaged in throwing a lot of mud at Rowan, insulting this institution, and it’s hurtful,” Houshmand said today. If I have to hear this from one more supporter of the merger, I will start insulting Rowan. Through this entire ordeal, Rutgers-Camden has been called a lynch mob, a ghetto campus, and one it’s students has been called an idiot by the Governor. Our cause has even been over-simplified so that it sounds like we do not want Rowan cooties. By the way, that same professor (who shall remain anonymous) who gave the cooties argument is now taking comments like this one, pulling quotes from it, and using them out of context. Rutgers-Camden students, faculty and staff have done no such things.

    How much of this has been directed Rowan? Much like the facts supporting the merger, the facts behind Ali Houshmand’s outrageous claim that Rowan has been insulted are not in existence.

  • Patrick Cox

    One of my favorite parts of the “report” is the section titled “Academic Affairs. This sounds like it would be a pretty important part of a merger of universities designed to create one really awesome school!

    But it’s just a couple bullet points. “Detailed steps for the creation and implementation shall be undertaken…” and “The needs and requirements of faculty, anticipated degree programs, funding sources, and enrollment management shall be investigated and appropriately planned for.”

    The school’s plan for academics is to look into it and make a plan??? Doesn’t it seem like there would be some academic ideas on the table BEFORE the whole thing gets proposed? If this is to create a major university, shouldn’t academics be what’s driving the whole thing!? But they haven’t investigated the academic needs and requirements!? Then why is this even being suggested?

  • Prentiss Dantzler, MPA

    I enjoy how Dr. Houshmand said every degree conferred will say Rutgers – Camden. But our degrees do not have Camden on them since we are one institution. We are governed by one BOG and BOT. This simple error speaks not to a simple mistake, but a failed perception of the identity of the institution itself. I am insulted and annoyed by the rhetoric around this merger. I see good things and bad things in both schools but this would not be the best course of action. Allowing both institutions to keep their identity will be beneficial to SJ allowing more choice.

  • johnw

    If “no merger will work without everyone working together,” why is Rowan releasing a takeover plan with zero input from Rutgers-Camden? And Rowan is the victim here?

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